Live Gunfire on Galaa st. – Al-Ahram Newspaper building

At 5pm exacly (Cairo GMT +2), I was driving back from Zaky st, back to Zamalek, on Galaa st. right in front of Al-Ahram newspaper building, which for some reason I initially tweeted that it is Al-Gomhoreya newspaper building, on Ramsis st.

There was clearly a loud commotion in front of the building of Al-Ahram newspaper, hence I parked my car and stopped to see what is going on, at the time there was only Central Security Forces (CSF) present at the scene, and clearly there was an angry mob made out of a very few angry and determined individuals, who swore up and down that they will get the “guy” hiding in the building.

It was hard to figure out the real story, but what was conclusive was that a man was shot by a policeman (أمين شرطه) a man, who is a micro-bus driver, and then took refuge in Al-Ahram building, and the mob wanted to get a hold of him.  Now whether this man was initially in custody, or he committed a traffic violation and refused to comply it is unclear to me.

When I got there, there had already been some clashes between the mob and CFS, and they were going back and forth, with the usual breaks in between.  There was a surreal moment when one of the family/friends of the shot man jumped inside a parked bus, blocking the road and tried to run over CSF troops standing in formation.  He then backed up and the video below shows the tail end of that incident.

As seen in the video 3 military vehicles came in to support CSF and to try to get the policeman hiding within the building safely out.  Meanwhile, a man, who was also there supporting the mob, friend/family member of the shot man, was threatening to throw himself off the 6th of October bridge in protest to the killing of the man, and also because someone “Took his bus”, was not sure of what he was talking about.

After a while, Riot Military Police (RMP) reinforcements came to aid military forces.  Within a matter of minutes, the policeman was taken to safely to one of the armored military vehicles.  The military attempted to leave the location, but the mob, fairly at their angriest point.  One of the family/friends of the shot man, drove one of the buses and blocked the driveway of the military armored vehicles.

In the midst of the chaos a man got into the bus and moved it, and the commanding officer in charge of military units present gave an order, and he went into one of the armored vehicles and the immediately started firing a vast amount of assault rifle rounds into the the air.  It is worthy of noting that Galaa st. has the 6th of October bridge covering it.  While the military was shooting, they started moving their armored vehicles in relatively high speeds to get away from Al-Ahram building.

The mob continued chasing after the military vehicles, and the military continued firing.  I could see the bullets ricochet, of the bottom of the bridge, clear flashes of the rounds hitting the metal.  At that point I got into my car and was trying to make my way out of the chaos, driving in the same direction the military vehicles were making their getaway.  They continued to fire rounds off, in a fairly crowded area.  One woman fell to the ground right in front of my car and people started screaming.  Some asked me to drive her to the hospital, but then family members/companions picked her up and carried her across the street running.

About Ramy Yaacoub

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